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A quarter of the UK’s workforce can’t focus at work due to money stress


A quarter of the UK’s workforce can’t focus at work due to money stress

Research from Perkbox, the global rewards and benefits platform, reveals one in four (25%) UK workers can’t concentrate on their work because they’re worried about their financial situation.

Company culture is also paying the price as money issues plague the workforce. According to Perkbox’s survey of over 2,000 workers, 30% are jealous of their colleagues who aren’t concerned about their finances, and nearly a quarter (23%) say money conversations have resulted in feelings of animosity. However, the workforce doesn’t want to hide the issue, with a majority (51%) of workers welcoming open conversations about money in the workplace.

Gen Z woes

Tensions are felt most acutely among the workforce’s youngest generation. Close to a third (31%) of Gen Z workers avoid talking about money so they’re not jealous of colleagues who may be earning more. Furthermore, nearly a quarter (24%) believe that talking about money in the workplace will harm their career progression. This is compared to 18% of the entire workforce, and only one in 10 baby boomers who think the same.

“Finances can be a controversial topic in the workplace, and Gen Zs are bearing the brunt of this having spent most of their career to date in the cost-of-living crisis. And as a quarter of the overall workforce is preoccupied by money stress, employers cannot afford to gloss over the money conversation. Doing so risks productivity, motivation and company culture.

“Instead, employers need to acknowledge the pressures workers are facing and facilitate an open dialogue to understand how money stress is hurting their business. Delivering meaningful support is contingent on listening and responding to the needs of workers,” comments Mona Akiki, Perkbox’s Chief People Officer.

Time to address the money conversation

UK businesses risk losing their best talent by not engaging with their workforce’s financial stresses, as nearly a third (29%) of workers admit to actively looking to leave their current company in favour of an employer that provides greater financial support. Meanwhile, 32% of workers feel less motivated to work hard because they don’t think that their employer has made adequate effort to help with rising costs, with 34% resentful that their employer has not done more to support them.

The research also revealed the financial support workers most want outside of salary increases:

  • Personalised rewards and benefits as a means of financial support (35%)
  • Discount schemes that help workers save on shopping (34%)
  • Flexible rewards that can be spent at will on activities, e.g. going to the cinema, ordering a takeaway (32%)

Akiki comments further: “Businesses should be encouraging employees to be more open about what’s causing them financial stress. This will enable them to meaningfully acknowledge the ongoing pressures of the cost-of-living crisis and offer the right support. What that support looks like will be different for everyone in your workforce, but providing this is both the right thing to do, and helps keep people motivated. 

“Businesses should look to offer a rewards and benefits package which can be tailored to workers’ diverse needs. Whether it’s discounts on weekly food shops or funding the small things like a trip to the cinema or a takeaway, these tools will go a long way to ensuring everyone in the workforce feels seen, supported and appreciated.”

Original Article: HRnews

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